Save money by co-hosting with someone else, such as a sibling, a friend or neighbor. This allows you to share the planning and budget. Check out our last blog post for 'How to Throw a Party Without Going Broke part 1'
Plan you entertainment. Make sure your guests have fun at your party. Use digital music services such as Pandora to choose holiday-themed playlists, or create a music playlist with a digital service like Spotify.
- If your guests love singing, buy, rent or borrow a karaoke machine and queue it up with holiday hits.Offer a prize for the best singer to encourage healthy competition.
- Encourage your guests to wear festive attire, including holiday sweaters and offer a prize for the best festive outfit.
- Have a friend or family member dress as Santa Claus and hand out candy to guests or small toys to their children.
- Create goody bags for young children at the party and include candy canes, crayons, holiday-themed coloring pages or books and stickers. This will keep them busy while their parents mingle.
- If you want guests to exchange gifts, make it a Secret Santa or White Elephant exchange and give guests a budget to adhere to. For a Secret Santa exchange, pair people up ahead of time, once you know who's coming to the party. If you plan to host a White Elephant exchange, let your guests know on their invitation so they can remember to bring a gift.
Plan your menu. Whether you're having your party catered, making everything yourself, or having a potluck, it helps to plan your menu.
- If you're having the party catered, hire a caterer as soon as possible since the holiday season is the busiest time of the year for many. Look online and get recommendations from friends for great caterers in your area. Once you've hired one, work with them to create a menu your guests will love that takes into account any dietary restrictions your guests may have.
- If your cooking the meal yourself, scour the internet and your favorite cookbooks and magazines for recipes. To save time and avoid stress, make as much of the meal as you can and freeze it, then choose recipes that have a few of the same ingredients. Or host a buffet and you can make the most of the food ahead of time. Another idea is to host a holiday brunch instead of a big dinner. Since breakfast items tend to be much cheaper, you'll cut down on food costs. Additionally, guests may feel more comfortable bringing their families to a brunch setting.
- If you're planning a potluck, supply the main dish and ask your guests to bring their favorite dish to share. Ask them ahead of time what they plan to bring to avoid doubling up on dishes. If they're not sure, give them a recipe to make or, if they don't cook, ask them to bring beverages or ice.
- Save money on drinks by creating a signature drink to serve, such as eggnog or a seasonal cocktail. Buy non-alcoholic beverages in bulk, such as soft drinks, water or apple cider.
Decorate. Holiday decorations don't have to break the bank. Reuse ole decorations to save you money or borrow decor from family or friends. If you have children enlist their help to get creative. Decorate natural item such as pine cones and branches with glitter, help them cut and decorate paper snowflakes or put together popcorn and paper chains. If you prefer to purchase new decorations, discount stores offer a selection of low-cost, festive items. If you tend to host a holiday party every year, be sure to take advantage of post-holiday sales and other deals throughout the year.